This is part of a continuing series of posts on therapy ideas to support assistants (SLPAs) and paraprofessionals in the schools in their work with students and their supervising SLPs.

You should have regularly scheduled time with your supervising SLP, but we all want to be sure that meeting time is used wisely and efficiently so we can get back to the real business of working with kids! You may have only 20 minutes to touch base with your supervision SLP, but it is important to have a dedicated time to connect, review and plan (indirect supervision), separate from observation with students (direct supervision). Here are some guidelines for an effective weekly meeting, regardless of length:

  • Someone needs to be responsible for the agenda! It could be the same every week, but it will help keep you on task. Here is an example: 
    • 4 min – Review open tasks from last week’s meeting, and agenda for this week’s meeting
      • i.e. data complete? IEP’s scheduled? Did we meet on the issues we said we would?
    • 10 min – schedule/therapy review
      • Does the SLPA know what goals to address with each group/each student? Note: This segment of the meeting will likely determine the length of your meeting. This the most important aspect of indirect supervision, and as such, needs to be prioritized. Obviously, it will take longer at the beginning of the year, and with new students!
    • 5 min – specific students or issues
      • i.e. Joe keeps leaving the room during speech, Brady is not making progress
      • if it’s a quick answer, things may be resolved within this meeting. Otherwise, it may require more data, additional research, or scheduling another time to focus solely on this problem.
    • 1 min – schedule any issues or questions that require additional time for another date, or add to an upcoming agenda
  • Although one person is responsible for the agenda, all parties should be counted on to contribute items to the agenda – SLPAs should bring their questions, observations, and concerns. 
  • A successful and efficient weekly meeting requires preparation and follow-up. Consistency is key – make it an important part of your week!

SLPAs and paraprofessionals should always operate within the scope defined by state and national licensing organizations and should only conduct allowable tasks under the supervision of a speech-language pathologist.